Biotech Updates

Stakeholders Support Commercial Cultivation of GM Cowpea in Ghana

September 6, 2023

The commercial cultivation of Ghana's first locally developed genetically modified (GM) cowpea, Bt Songotra, is supported by nearly 50 scientists and regulators from different institutions during the workshop organized by the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) in Accra, Ghana.

Bt Songotra cowpea is part of the ongoing efforts to develop the second generation of pod borer resistance (PBR) cowpeas which aims to have a positive impact on food security and livelihood of small-scale farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. This milestone is also expected to increase crop production and help reduce prices of the crop.

In Ghana, low yields of cowpea is caused by insect and pest infections every year. With Bt Songotra, researchers hope for an improved variety of cowpea and higher yield of crops that are resistant to infections.

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) - Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) is working to produce sufficient amounts of early-generation seeds of Bt Songotra for distribution to farmers by the end of the year.

For more information, read the article on the Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) website.

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